postOpening December 12 / until February 13

Curated by: Paula Pinto

The exhibition shows dozens of Albuquerque Mendes’s drawing notebooks, produced over a period of more than twenty-five years and never exhibited before. The drawings were done as a daily record and within the private space of the artist. These are notebooks that accompanied the artist through different geographies and relate with his social and cultural experiences, keeping notice of ephemeral thoughts, of daily newspapers and poetry readings, of advertising graphics and loose words. As drawings, these records are both a space for special events and annotations of the surrounding world. They belong to the creative and the unconscious domain. Their sequence is almost never coherent: like in everyday life, the references crossed and witnessed by the drawings are uneven, even if constituted as routine.

Albuquerque Mendes brings to the visual field the fantasies of the real life and confronts the sensitive with the intelligible domains: in the notebooks we can find many characters, the androgynous figures that inhabit his paintings, the erotic scenes in which they entangle themselves and the little annotations that, taken out of context, become absurd and bring us back to the common life. Inhabiting in a thin border between glamour and decadence, the notebooks work simultaneously as daily memory and forgetting mechanism, where time accumulates the traces of its irreversible course. As soon as the notebooks become filled, they are stored away in studio drawers.

The difficulty of a public handling of these notebooks in a gallery space and their private nature requires a closed display. Nonetheless, some were photographically reproduced and assembled in a slideshow, so the drawings and their sequences can be visualized in a fleeting way. The aim of this exhibition is to bring the spectator closer to the drawing, revealing the existence of an undisclosed world. This exhibition is a demonstration of artistic practices that are not made for the museum, but across geographies and historical times, ordinary and erudite references, existence and restlessness, fortune and fate. Challenging the limits of error, Albuquerque Mendes will use the gallery walls to enact a drawing-performance: a drawing in act.

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